Family Vacations to Naples, Florida

Everglades National park
Take an airboat tour through the islands of the Everglades National Park (Mark Downey/Photodisc)

Naples, Florida Highlights

  • Take a tour of Ten Thousand Islands, a national wildlife refuge that is part of the largest expanse of mangrove forest in the country.
  • Stroll through the Naples Zoo at Caribbean Gardens to experience Florida's exotic flora and fauna. Exhibits include night vision tours. Visit in the early morning and on cooler days to make the most of your experience.
  • Explore the Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, where you'll move through four diverse natural environments, ranging from pine uplands to cypress forests and marsh. Entry fee is ten dollars for adults and six dollars for children. Allow yourself two to three hours to explore.

Quiet beaches along the gulf, protected natural wonders, and resort-style locations make Naples the perfect destination for families in search of adventure along Florida's west coast. Known for its unique history shaped by the geography of the land, and more recently as a playground for the rich, Southwest Florida maintains a delicate balance between its land and its water. The result is a vast ecosystem for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Naples shares a boundary with Marco Island and the western portion of the Everglades. These three areas collide to make up Collier County, the largest county in Florida, with more than 80 percent of its land preserved as parks and nature preserves.

Home to places like Big Cypress National Preserve, a habitat sheltering alligators, endangered birds, bobcats, and the Florida panther, Collier Country offers an array of activities for families. The Everglades National Park, a World Heritage Site, is a wetland of international importance and home to many rare and endangered species. Visitors can take airboat rides through the narrow branching waterways brimming with wildlife. Ten Thousand Islands' 35,000-acre refuge is part of the largest mangrove forest in North America and contains approximately 200 species of fish.

Delnor-Wiggins Pass State Park is one of the most popular destinations in Collier County, with a natural mile-long beachfront park. A narrow peninsula protects native flora such as cactus, sea grapes, cabbage palms, and yucca. The soft, white stretch of beach parallels low dunes and strands of sea oats. Follow a trail at the southern end of the park and you'll find an observation tower that looks out over the park.

Published: 23 Apr 2008 | Last Updated: 9 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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